Anyone who has owned a Labrador knows just how greedy they are, and how much they love their food. They would eat all day if you let them! But just because they sniff at food, and give you those big puppydog eyes when you’re eating to make you feel guilty, doesn’t mean that they are starving and never get fed.
If you see how much food I give OJ, (a cup full twice a day) you’d probably think he’s being starved. Have you ever seen him? Have you even seen a picture? Does he look like a starved dog? I don’t think so! The food is royal canin
Which has all the nutrition this type of dog needs. He gets doggy treats too, but no human food at all and no extra half cup fulls for good behaviour!
Guide dogs have to be kept on a strict diet for many reasons:
-Just like humans, becoming overweight can make them feel lazy and tired, and leads to health problems.
-Feeding them titbits encourages them to beg for food, which they are not allowed to do. If I’m in a restaurant and OJ is drooling all over me and sniffing tables looking for food, it’s not going to look good, is it?
-If dogs take food from the ground or from strangers, they become distracted from their work and this could be dangerous for their handler.
-Guide dogs can have very sensitive stomachs because they only eat certain foods, so human food and dog food that they are not used to can make them throw up. Sick guide dog = stays at home = owner having to find their own way around without the dog = a complete nightmare!
-Unfamiliar food can result in an irregularity from the other end, which isn’t good when your dog is trained to go regularly (like clockwork as soon as its fed if you’re lucky) and you’ve to clean up after it in unexpected places.
Why do members of the public not believe us when we tell them this? Why do they believe that our dogs are constantly hungry and that they should be allowed to accept food from strangers? Would you tell a mother how to feed her child if you didn’t know her? Probably not. Our dogs obviously aren’t children, and I think its unrealistic to compare them to children, but they are our responsibility.
Why do people think that the best way to show your pet dog that you love it is to feed it and feed it and feed it some more? Try taking it for a walk and spending time with it instead.
99% of the time, people I explain this too are very understanding, but there’s always the awkward ones!